Sunday, October 16, 2016

No Turnover Tuesdays for the Next Two Weeks

Tonight starts the holiday of Sukkot.  I will be off the grid on Monday and Tuesday of this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week.  That means no Turnover Tuesdays this week or next week.  We will come back with a vengeance in 2 weeks.

Enjoy the break!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Prices Always Come Back, Except When They Don't

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The previous posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post.

Race to the Bottom

A Race to the Bottom is when one seller undercuts the price followed by more and more sellers undercutting.  Prices plummet in a hurry as sellers are racing to lower the price.

When an item goes on sale from one of the big retailers, there is almost invariably a race to the bottom.

My favorite saying is that you either need to be first or last to sell anything.  First because the prices are still high or last when prices finally recover.  Obviously, first is far preferable but not always possible if you can't get your inventory in fast enough or you bought too many to sell before the race to the bottom begins.  So I often find myself waiting for the price recovery to sell (unless I get impatient).  That is usually a good strategy.

Friday, October 7, 2016

My Last Miles Redemption is an Example Why I Prefer to Earn Cash, not Miles

Earlier this week, I pointed out that I was able to use Delta SkyMiles to book a trip from NYC to TLV for only 70,000 points round-trip per person.

If you have followed my blog for a while you may know that I highly prefer to earn cashback over points with my credit cards.  You won't see me whip out my Starwoods credit card for everyday purchases (I actually don't even have a Starwoods - I know, the pain!).

I will use my latest redemption as a real life example.

Let's assume I would have booked the same flight with cash as I would have for miles.  It's not true since I would have booked a more convenient direct flight since it was basically the same price as one with a stopover but let's gloss over that for a moment (even though that's one of my reasons for disliking miles).

Had I not had miles to burn I would have used cash which would have cost about $900.

My flight cost me 70,000 miles + fees.  Let's do some math.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Don't Discount Delta and their SkyPesos and The Value of Transferable Point Currencies

Tonight is the beginning of the Jewish New Year which continues until late Tuesday night.  For that reason, there will be no Turnover Tuesdays post this week.  Happy New Year everyone!  

For today's post, most people probably won't learn anything new but it was something interesting that happened to me so I thought I'd share and maybe somebody can learn something from it.

I was booking a flight to TLV from the NYC airports this past week.  I had always been told that the best way to book miles from NYC to TLV was with United. Since I'm Jewish I assumed advice from Jewish friends on the best way to get to Israel must be true.

I knew about using Avios to do it very cheaply but it was complicated, the availability was very poor, it took a while to piece together everything and I always had domestic short haul flights as a way to use Avios.  I would always check but it usually meant an hour to piece it together only to find out it didn't work for my trip.

When I first got into miles it cost 80,000 miles roundtrip from NYC to TLV in saver level awards.  Since then the price has gone up to 85,000 miles.  I have been known to measure miles in terms of how many trips to Israel it will get me.  For example, if I was ordering $2,000 worth of iPads from Staples and they were offering 5x United miles on the portal (that actually used to happen last year), that was 2/17th of a roundtrip ticket to Israel for just purchase.

Either way, last year at some point someone pointed out to me that  United miles aren't even the best way to fly United to Israel.  If you use Singapore KrisFlyer miles to fly on Star Alliance, it actually only costs 75,000 miles.  

This was a revelation to me.  It meant that collecting United miles was no longer even close to collecting Ultimate Rewards points.  This should be true anyways since Ultimate Rewards can be used for cash and many other partners and booking flights as cash directly at 1.25x-1.5x but if you know you are going to use all your UR points on United anyways, so then collecting United miles was pretty much the same as collecting URs since the URs were heading into United.

Now, that's not so clear anymore.  URs can be transferred to Singapore instead.  Not only that, Thank you Points and Membership Rewards can be transferred to Singapore too.  Those can't be transferred to United.  It opens up a world of consolidating points.

There are important factors to know before doing this including timing your points transfers, how to book, etc.  All not for now, but the point is that the once obvious choice for me wasn't so obvious anymore.

Delta to the Rescue?